Carbon Storage
7:05 am
Mon July 29, 2013

Field Test Near Pasco Renews Attention On Viability Of Carbon Storage

Carbon dioxide is being injected half a mile underground via this well head next to the Boise Inc. pulp and paper mill in Wallula, Wash.
Credit Tom Banse

This week, technicians in southeast Washington continue a field test to show how carbon dioxide could be injected and trapped deep underground. It's an experiment led by the Pacific Northwest National Lab. Injection of fifty tanker truck loads of CO2 will take about four weeks. Then comes about a year and a half of monitoring to see if the global warming gas stays locked away forever beneath ancient lava flows.

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Duwamish Cleanup
6:38 am
Tue May 14, 2013

Comment Period Open For Proposed Superfund Clean Up Plan On Seattle's Duwamish River

People in communities along Seattle's Lower Duwamish River, a superfund site, came together to learn about the EPA's proposed clean up plan, open for public comment until June 13.
Credit Ashley Ahearn / EarthFix

The proposed clean up plan for the Duwamish River super fund site in Seattle is open for final public comment. The 305 million dollar plan would tackle 100 years of industrial pollution that have lead to high levels of contamination in the river. Ashley Ahearn reports the EPA is asking the public to weigh in.

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Oil Containment System
7:10 am
Tue April 23, 2013

Shell Oil Containment System Passes Federal Test In Puget Sound

Shell Oil had to postpone its Arctic drilling for a full year after one of its oil rigs ran aground off the Alaska coast this winter. But Shell’s efforts to open a new frontier of oil exploration in the Arctic Ocean continue in Puget Sound. The oil giant passed a key test with federal regulators last month in the waters off Anacortes, Washington. KUOW’s John Ryan reports.

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Endangered Rivers
7:23 am
Wed April 17, 2013

Conservation Groups Lists Rivers in Southern Oregon, Idaho As Most Endangered

American Rivers has named three Northwest streams among the most endangered in the United States this year. Two are remote creeks in Southwest Oregon. The conservation group says exploration for nickel could harm the creeks. Amelia Templeton reports.

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Coal Diving
6:58 am
Fri March 29, 2013

Environmental Groups Diving For Coal Near Seattle Train Tracks

Laura James pulls a piece of black porous rock from the water beneath the railroad bridge in Ballard.
Credit Lamont Granquist

The debate over exporting Wyoming and Montana coal through terminals on the Northwest coast has been heating up in recent months. Those who support exporting coal say the terminals will create thousands of jobs and tax revenue for the state. Opponents of coal exports have raised concerns about the potential environmental and health impacts of coal. Some of them are taking matters into their own hands. Ashley Ahearn reports.

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Heirloom Pesticides
7:41 am
Tue March 26, 2013

Moving 'Heirloom Chemicals' Out Of Farmers' Fields

A cleanup worker shows off a bag of DDT.
Credit Courtney Flatt / EarthFix

Year after year many pesticides farmers use expire or are banned. Often these chemicals pile up in barns and storage sheds until farmers can find a safe way to dispose of them. EarthFix reporter Courtney Flatt visited a pesticide collection center in Wenatchee to find out what exactly happens to the chemicals.

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Derelict Vessels
7:36 am
Tue March 26, 2013

Washington Set To Pass Legislation On Derelict Vessels But Funding Problems Remain

Recreational boaters in Washington pay a registration fee, part of which covers clean up and removal of derelict vessels. Commercial vessels do not pay into that fund.
Credit Ashley Ahearn / EarthFix

There are several hundred derelict and abandoned vessels dotting the waterways of Washington and Oregon. They can block navigation and pollute the environment. And they can also be very expensive to remove.

Bills to fund the clean up and prevention of derelict vessels have now been passed in the Washington house and senate, but Ashley Ahearn reports, no permanent sources of funding for large vessel removal have been identified.

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Water Contamination
6:25 am
Thu March 7, 2013

Yakima Dairies Agree to Reduce Nitrate Contamination

Four Eastern Washington dairies have agreed to reduce pollution that’s been contaminating drinking water. For EarthFix, Courtney Flatt has more.

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Idaho Water Quality
6:27 am
Thu January 31, 2013

How Much Fish You Eat Determines Water Quality In Idaho

How much fish do you eat every week? That’s a question Idaho’s Department of Environmental Quality wants to answer. As Samantha Wright reports, the agency has asked state lawmakers for funding to study that question.

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Converting Carbon Dioxide
4:52 pm
Thu January 17, 2013

Seattle Firm Seeks To Commercialize Carbon Dioxide Conversion To Methanol


Originally published on Thu January 17, 2013 4:04 pm

A small engineering firm in Seattle says it has developed a system to capture carbon dioxide going up power plant smokestacks and convert it to methanol. The solvent is also known as wood alcohol and as an Indy race car fuel.

Brett Scott is chief counsel for Emission Resource Group. He says having a viable method to refine CO2 into methanol could make it worthwhile for fossil fuel burners to capture the greenhouse gas.

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